Sweater weather essentials
If you're like me and LOVE the season of cosy, I invite you to meander through my junk-yard list of things to get those cosy vibes flowing. And if you're not a fan of the autumn, then please check yourself into the closest mental health institute.
Alrighty, this is going to be a mixed bag of recommendations, from spooky books to soulful movies, absurd podcasts to - getting chased by zombies.
I'll preface this by saying I won't be telling you guys my top 3 horror movies, because I don't have any. Ever since that long haired girl climbed out through the TV I've not been the same. Books I can cope with, but horror movies? THANK YOU, BUT NO THANK-YOU.
So go get your fire flaming and your fluffy socks fluffin' and let's dive in.
I actually only have one book to present to you, but this baby is going to consume you. I'm talking about the horror tome of the century - House of Leaves by Mark Danielewski. The book is about a house, but you'll never be allowed feel at home. It's a sprawling mess, long winded, footnote heavy, unsettling, and an absolute experience to read - you'll be turning pages upside down, baffled at the format, until too late you realise that it's drawing you in deeper and deeper. It's almost like the book is reading you.
I honestly think this is the scariest thing ever written - it uses your imagination in the worst possible way. And trust me, you'll never again look at that random closet in your house the same way.
Footnote: the house is partly based on real life crazy house The Winchester Mystery House in San Jose, which I only just about managed to walk past - ain't no way I was setting foot in that place!
On a little more lighthearted note, I love a good Studio Ghibli at this time of year. An everlasting favourite is Howl's Moving Castle, which involves the colourful adventures of the wizard Howl and cursed granny Sophie. The snarky fire demon Calcifer is the best character. Closely followed by Turnip Head. Then the higgledy piggledy mess of a castle. The book (Diana Wynne Jones) is just as good (maybe even better) than the movie, but for a cozy, colourful atmosphere, you can't beat this one.
On a more melancholic note, Still Life is a movie everyone must see. The first time I watched this was in a darkened creative writing classroom, and I wasn't the only one holding back tears at the end. On a rewatch, in the safety of solitude, I can honestly say I UGLY cried. It follows the life and work of a man called John, who goes about finding the families of any unclaimed and unidentified bodies.
This is a must watch, but make sure you've got max comfort around you - candles, a blanket, a hot water bottle - and maybe some wine honestly.
Tis the season of Satie! This is the only time of year I feel compelled to listen to this composer. Check out Gnosienne 1/3, and while you're at it, a little Camille Saint-Saens never hurt anybody. On a less moody note, Ophelia by the Lumineers is a solid listen. I'd also like to officially remind everyone it's Bon Iver weather. Enjoy.
If you're looking to lose yourself in something absurd, check out the podcast Welcome to Night Vale. Weird doesn't BEGIN to cover it. I don't quite know why I love this show so much - it's essentially a fictional offbeat radio station. Vaguely threatening, vaguely comforting. It does something to me that I can't explain but rather enjoy. Some quotes that will give you a taster:
“Comfort was the answer to all life's problems. It didn't solve them, but it made them more distant for a bit as they quietly worsened.”
“She left the shower as most people leave showers, clean and a little lonely.”
“In terms of tacos, she was doing fine.”
I have nothing more to add here.
If you're wanting to up your exercise levels and are lacking the get-go, you NEED the app Zombies, Run. Because what's more motivating than being chased by a horde of the undead? Nothing, that's what. I love stories in all shapes and forms, but following along in real-time as you literally run around the place is next level immersive. Check out a trailer here.
That's it for my little roundup - if you've got any recommendations for me I'd love to hear it. You can find me spaffing about on Instagram, or you can just show up at my door and I'll probably listen.
Over and out,